The last few years have seen an increase in research studies on the impact and effectiveness of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the teaching and learning of English as a school subject. It is against that research background and against recent developments in policy and practice in the UK that the present systematic review of the effectiveness of different ICTs in the teaching and learning of English has been undertaken. The aim of this review was to shed light on whether ICTs are effective in the teaching and learning of English for 5- to 16-year-olds. A total of 2103 papers were found in the initial search of studies published between 1998 and 2003 on the topic of the review. An in-depth review on the effectiveness of ICT in the teaching and learning of written composition in English concentrated on nine studies. As eight of the nine studies were judged to be of medium weight of evidence and were also different from each other in nature, it was not possible to arrive at a clear answer to our in-depth research question. Rather, we wish to report that the field is in a preparadigmatic state where definitions of English, literacy and ICT are still relatively unclear, and where the causal and/or reciprocal relationships between them have yet to be fully theorised.